Archaeological Archaeology Essay Nature Research

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Gardin explored some of the work of Ian Hodder (1948-), who was the leader of the movement (Gardin, 1987a), and later commented on the development of these debates (Gardin, 1999: 124, 2009a: 178-179).

During the 1990s, the challenging of the criteria of scientificity in archaeology led him to a more general critique of the idea of the epistemological “Third Way”.

Two factors make their dispute a particularly favourable case.

Firstly, both researchers brought together, in their respective disciplines, considerable experience in empirical research and reflexive skill.

This supposes the existence of a means of producing knowledge – and, as a result, of a type of knowledge – which is simultaneously distinct from literature and from the so-called “hard” sciences.

This denomination refers to the distinction popularised by Wolf Lepenies (1941-) between the “three cultures”, which correspond with the three types of knowledge mentioned above (Lepenies, 1988).This case study enables us to explore the actual conceptual relationships between archaeology and the other sciences (as opposed to those wished for or prescribed).The contrasts between the positions declared by the two researchers and the rooting of their arguments in their disciplines are examined: where the sociologist makes use of his philosophical training, the archaeologist relies mainly on his work on semiology and informatics.Can we be sure, however, that we are dealing with descriptions of these relationships between disciplines and not prescriptions of what they should be?This is far from certain, and the juxtaposition of disciplines regularly appears to be the most frequent relational operator.By continuing to use this site, you consent to the use of cookies.We use cookies to offer you a better experience, personalize content, tailor advertising, provide social media features, and better understand the use of our services.Archaeology has featured among these disciplines since the creation, in 1960, of a (research director) chair at the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE; the EHESS was established in 1975, by splitting from the EPHE).This was created for Paul Courbin (1922-1994), a Hellenistic archaeologist who, in 1967, founded and ran a research department focused on archaeological methods, within the EPHE (Darcque, 1996: 319).As a field archaeologist, and involved in an excavation, Courbin was unable to take part in these meetings, except through this letter.The situation was the same for one of the few other archaeologists in the École, Jean-Claude Gardin (1925-2013).


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